Just moved back to SoCal after living in Dallas for 15 years.
It's $8.50 an hour here - the caveat though is that a lot of places will only hire people as a part time employee to avoid the mere threat of having to pay overtime. Not to mention there's the state income tax, a 8.75% sales tax (plus a 10¢ tax on each bottle you buy) & the gas prices are always at least 50¢ more a gallon than the national average & rent is 3 times what I was paying in the Metroplex.
And it is very tough to get a job here, apparently my 7+ years of bartending & 10+ years overall in the restaurant business has netted very few call backs (all my references & such are in order). An ad will appear on Craigslist & they'll usually get 100+ applicants, with 10-30 people there at the restaurant at 2pm the very day that the ad goes up.
Considering everything - I'd gladly take $2.13 & none of the hassles that $8.50 an hour apparently warrants.